M&A Data Room Structure: What to Include and How to Create a Successful Data Room
Virtual data rooms are becoming a new standard in the world of M&A, financial and corporate transactions. They allow you to create and organize a convenient online repository of the most important documents related to financial affairs, licenses, agreements, certificates, and others. Some files from this document turnover are necessary for effective interaction with clients, other documents allow quick and convenient cooperation with the company's key partners. Read more about data rooms for M&A: let's try to figure out what VDR type will perfectly meet your business needs, and how to create and structure it.
Structure the data room for M&A deals step by step
A pre-prepared M&A data room ensures that you can react quickly at the right moment and provide your partners with the necessary documents very quickly. In this way, it is possible to conclude profitable agreements, conduct successful transactions, win tenders, etc. Purchasing online data room software is a profitable investment in the future of your company. And after giving it, it remains to organize the VDR so that it is as convenient as possible to interact with it.
Step 1. We think over the future structure of the project
First of all, you should make a list of all types of documents you plan to store in the system. Separate all useful files that you use often or have to share with partners. Write out, if not every file, then at least group the documents that will be stored in the electronic data room.
This step will only give you a rough idea of the future structure, but it will also guide all subsequent steps. At the very least, you will have a rough idea of how to create a VDR and who to grant access.
Step 2. Systematize the project
If you planned everything well at the first stage, then the practical design of the file cabinet will be a logical continuation for you. But when working with real files in the virtual data room, experts recommend following some rules:
- Create as clear sections as possible so that other users can have a clear picture: finance, legal information, goals, customers, HR, and more.
- Try to structure the files within each folder by providing essential and non-confidential documents from the beginning.
- Separate confidential information from publicly available one. For confidential data, create a separate folder with personal access settings.
Some virtual data room providers allow you to try ready-made room templates, which can be used as a basis for creating your online repository.
Step 3. Uploading the necessary documents to the VDR
The folders have been created. Now you can download the necessary files to each of them. Rename documents so that they are easy to find during surface scanning. If possible, save text documents in PDF format, and upload financial documents in Excel format.
Step 4. Manage roles and access for users
When the structure is ready, it's time to grant access to the files and folders in your virtual data room. Data room software allows the administrator to manage the roles and powers of other users. Thus, by opening access to the repository, you filter the privacy levels. Therefore, you can make file storage transparent and secure at the same time.It is also possible to view reports on document usage statistics. For example, you will see who and when downloaded certain files. This is very convenient in many situations where timely access to information is critical.
Step 5: Update the data from time to time
Virtual data room providers make sure that once you have created a VDR and put it in order, you have more time and other resources that you can focus on more urgent tasks. However, regularly sort and filter out the data so that the storage doesn't turn into an unordered garbage dump:
- Delete outdated files on time, or transfer them to archives.
- Eliminate any mixed-up folders, otherwise, you will have a hard time finding the files you need.
- Don't forget about privacy settings and access levels.
In this way, you will store a smaller amount of data, it will be easier to operate on it, and it will not create problems for you or your colleagues.
How to choose data room services?
Before you go through all the above steps, you have to do one more thing: find different data room vendors and choose the best one among the options.
In the process of searching for the optimal data room software, you should pay attention to the following points:
- The price of the software can be fixed, or the tariff depends on the number of connected users.
- The technical ability to provide different users with roles and levels of access to information.
- Check if the system has a “Reports” option where you can see who viewed or downloaded documents and when.
- Limitations on the types or sizes of files you download and save can be critical. Make sure you can freely use all the types of documents you need.
Most data room services offer convenient and reliable solutions. The difference lies in the direction of the project and its price. VDRs are not narrowly segmented but may differ in some technical details. For example, some services are better suited for brokers, investors, or financial institutions, while others are useful for lawyers or academics. Find and structure a virtual data room today — leave competitions far behind you.