The more you invest in a virtual data room, the better it is. With the regular employment of virtual data rooms in the business world and changing market trends, data room services are becoming more and more advanced. For example, modern-day data room software now has project management features, advanced analytics, smart search, Slack integration, fence view mode, etc.
However, while looking for these advanced features, make sure you don’t compromise on basic electronic data room functionalities. That’s because these essential features are used more regularly than the advanced ones.
Therefore, when you are comparing different virtual data room vendors, make sure they are offering the must-have VDR features and services listed below. But before that, let’s explore the solutions offering all the essential features a data room user might need.
Basic virtual data room services
Any electronic must provide these basic services:
1. Data storage. Any online data room software is essentially an online document repository that allows users to store and manage business or personal documents. Any Basic virtual data room should support all globally used file formats such as images, documents, audio, videos, etc.
2. Data sharing. Data sharing is another fundamental service in virtual data rooms. VDR users must be able to share, edit, and annotate documents. Almost every virtual data room allows users to share documents with multiple users at once. Some VDRs also allow scheduling document sharing.
3. Communication. Online communication is another integral component of any virtual data room software in the market. Communication tools are not only necessary for intra-organizational communication but also mandatory for external dealings such as M&As, fundraising, strategic partnerships, initial public offerings, or joint ventures.
Best data room providers to invest in
Here is a list of a few of the best virtual data room providers in 2022:
1. iDeals virtual data rooms
2. Ansarada data rooms
3. Merrill Datasite
4. Digify data rooms
5. Firmex data rooms
All these solutions offer data room functionality that goes beyond basic toolset. You can read more about the best data room providers here: https://dataroom-providers.org/.
Alternatively, you can continue reading the article and find out what feature set to prioritize when looking for the best data room solutions.
Basic online data room software features to look for
Data room and document security features
1. Two-step verification. Any virtual data room must have the basic two-step verification feature. Ideally, the second step (after entering the password) should be a unique code sent to the user’s email address or mobile number.
2. Multi-step authorization. If a user is logging in from a new device, multi-step verification ensures that only a certified user can access the VDR by clearing multiple verification stages.
3. Virus scanning. A built-in, registered anti-virus is a must-have feature for any VDR because it scans every document uploaded in the data room and identifies/purges defected files.
4. Document access restrictions. Document access restrictions allow you to choose which files should or should not be available for printing, downloading, printing, sharing, editing, saving, or copying and which users can or cannot access particular documents.
5. 256-bit encryption. Data encryption is one of the most important security features in a VDR. It protects documents and the data inside when shared to or from virtual data rooms.
Other important security features include document watermarks, self-destructing documents, data backup, detailed data room reports, Document version control, audit logs, and cyber security certifications such as FINRA, ISO 27001, SOC2, and SSAE 16.
Data room usability features
1. Bulk uploads. If you want to save your employees’ time, never compromise on the bulk uploads feature, as it allows you to upload tonnes of files to the VDR in one go.
2. Branded website. Having a branded VDR website with your company name, logo, and theme color gives a boost to your business branding.
3. Drag-n-drop. This feature allows you to select files from your device and drag them into the VDR. It makes document upload faster and more convenient.
4. Microsoft integration. If a VDR doesn’t have a built-in file viewer and other document management tools, it must be integrable with Microsoft software like MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint.
5. Q&A module. It provides VDR users with a space where they can ask and answer live questions.
Other important usability features include a scroll-through document viewer, document linking, and the text search function.
Virtual data room accessibility features
1. Multi-device support. Good virtual data room software should be accessible from all commonly used operating systems such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Mac, Linux, Windows, iPads, and iPhones.
2. Multi-language support. Multi-language virtual data rooms are the most in-demand VDRs as they allow users to communicate and operate data rooms in their native language.
3. Mobile device interface. A good virtual data room must have a dedicated user interface for different devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
In addition to these features, data room software should be an all-in-one shop where you don’t have to look for plug-ins.
It is unwise to overlook basic virtual data room features while searching for more advanced ones. Be sure to consider the accessibility, usability, and security functionalities listed above when choosing a good data room solution. To help you with your choice, we handpicked the best options on the market.