1. Specify your needs
First and foremost, it’s crucial to assess your business needs and capabilities. To get started, consider your storage requirements, types and volumes of data to upload to the data room, users and teams that will need access, and the duration of expected use.
Additionally, estimate your minimum and maximum budget and define bottlenecks in current information management processes you’re expecting to solve with a data room.
2. Determine the desired features
Data room feature categories include:
- Security (security compliances, access security, document security)
- Ease of use (document management, user management, user interface)
- Reporting and analytics (color-coded reporting, full audit trails, custom reports)
- Q&A (workflows, Q&A roles, questions import and export)
- Customer support (around-the-clock service availability, dedicated experts on demand)
Compile a list of tools you need in each category, and you’ll have a ready to follow data room selection checklist.
3. Set the budget
At this stage, you can decide what pricing model will be most convenient for you. Commonly, the cost of a VDR is based on the number of users, storage size, number of documents, or available features.
However, the most practical option is to go for a flat monthly, bi-annual, or annual fee, including unlimited pages, users, and data. Transparent flat-fee pricing is suitable for larger projects with many variables. It helps with financial planning and avoids unexpected charges.
4. Compare virtual data rooms
To determine which virtual data rooms align with your requirements and budget, you can use comparison tools and customer reviews offered by G2, TrustRadius, or Capterra.
Alternatively, you can explore the comparison table on our main page and select one of the best-fitting providers for your individual case.
5. Shortlist top providers & contact them
At this stage, engage with the providers to assess the quality of their communication in customer service and on the website.
Communicating with support teams should give you insight into the level of knowledge and helpfulness of the staff, as well as their response times. The website should give you a preview of the product’s user experience, interface design, and overall visual appeal.
6. Test data room software
When evaluating virtual data rooms, it is important to run test trials first. Just as you wouldn’t purchase a car without test-driving it, don’t entrust your business data with a VDR you haven’t tested.
As you evaluate the VDR during the trial period, take note of its features and user-friendliness. It’s also crucial for multiple members of your team to test the VDR to ensure that it’s suitable for users with varying technical proficiency.