If you are looking for ways to store your company’s data online securely, then you should consider a virtual data room. By definition, it is an online software created to ensure that the storage and sharing of data among users inside and outside of a company who were given access and control to it are safe and secure at all times.
In the past, virtual data rooms are only used by companies for activities such as financial and asset lifecycle management. Other companies tend to gravitate toward physical data rooms wherein hard copies of data are being stored.
In this article, you will learn more about the most advanced features of a virtual data room and how these can give your company the upper hand.
What is a Virtual Data Room (VDR)?
A virtual data room, or more commonly known as VDR, is one of the most vital tools a company must-have. In simpler terms, it safely stores and protectively secures the sharing of data among authorized users. The data may include confidential information such as a company’s trade secrets or documentation about their various business processes.
Choosing a virtual data room entails the following guidelines:
- Define your company’s current capabilities and technological needs – Find out which of the employees are technologically savvy and what purpose does the company needs the VDR for. Your company might need a VDR which is intuitive and comes along with reliable customer service and support around the clock.
- Identify the features your company wants out of the VDR – Having figured out the purpose as to why the company needs a VDR, it is now time to identify the features a VDR must have that will help address your company’s goals.
- Determine the budget allocated by your company to purchase a VDR – VDRs are more cost-effective to set up than physical data rooms, but companies still need to set a ballpark figure when it comes to purchasing a VDR. Factors to consider in relation to this include the duration in which the VDR will be used and the number of users who will be accessing it.
- Check out the different VDR providers – After determining the budget, companies can then check out the different VDR providers in the market and their corresponding VDR offerings. They can do this either by checking online reviews, reviewing their corresponding websites, and reaching out to these providers directly. You may also request for a test trial of their VDR offerings to help you decide on the VDR offering best suitable to your company’s needs.
Advanced Features of a Virtual Data Room (VDR)
It is important to take note that a VDR’s features vary depending on its provider. Here are some of the most advanced features of a VDR that can give your company the upper hand:
1. Task Management
Regardless of the industry, they belong to, companies are now in dire need of tools that allow them to track their respective employees’ productivity in real-time and in the most efficient manner.
The task management feature allows them to do that by giving them the ability to assign tasks to employees while still inside the VDR to make them aware of their roles and responsibilities and monitor their progress with regard to the completion of their assigned tasks.
It also provides the management with an overview of the projects each of the employees or teams are currently working on alongside the permission to track the progress of such projects until completion.
2. Search Snippets
There are times wherein a keyword search results in a list of multiple documents. It becomes a hassle when you need to open each of those documents just to confirm whether they contain the information you are looking for.
With the search snippets feature, employees can quickly skim through the documents presented in the search results within the VDR with ease. Additionally, they can view small snippets of them to validate whether these contain the information they need without having to open them.
3. Document Viewing
The document viewing feature in VDRs allows users to see previews or images of the document they need before opening them. In addition, it also allows the viewing and analysis of spreadsheets within the VDR itself, and users can choose to view these files with or without the formulas visible in those spreadsheets.
Depending on the VDR provider, the document viewing feature may also include restricted viewing in which only the central part of the document is viewable to the users while the remaining parts are then covered with a sliding barred screen and dynamic watermarks. Restricted viewing protects documents against unsolicited or accidental viewing by those who are not given permission to view the said document in its entirety.
4. Streamlined Communications
One of the ways companies can improve further on the efficiency of their business processes is ensuring that the flow of communication between teams and employees is always seamless and efficient whether in person or online. The streamlined communications feature helps make this happen by streamlining the communication within the VDR covering the messages, files, and tools as well as its built-in notifications.
5. User Analytics
The user analytics feature keeps the management well informed about everything going on within the VDR by tracking the employees’ activities with their corresponding timestamps. It also permits the investigation regarding their activities such as their search histories, time spent on viewing or accessing certain documents, the documents they printed and downloaded, and their logins and logouts in the VDR.
Insights on matters such as which documents have the most number of views, what team is the most active in the past week, which sections within the VDR are the employees most interested in, and the number of documents uploaded and accessed are also available in which detailed audit reports can be generated anytime.
These reports, in turn, help the management decide thoroughly on matters relating to employees’ welfare allowing them to provide them with support and adjust the workplace policies as needed.
VDRs are vital to a company’s operations, regardless of the industry. They help secure the transfer of highly confidential data within the company. They also prevent data breaches and data theft, especially from outside competitors.
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