Test data management is a key factor in efficient testing. You need to specify all the data a test requires to be executed effectively and you will need to ensure that all that data will be available during each execution of the test. If you can’t provide adequate test data, your testers will have to find or create their own test data each time they execute a test, making the result of the test highly dependent on their interpretation. Automated tests, however, won’t run at all if you don’t provide the required test data.
Looking at automated tests you have the chance to integrate your test data management into your test automation framework. But what would an effective process of such an integration look like?