Use of programming to take control of a data upload or download exercise. Automation is often applied to the steps of an Extract-Transform-Load process to reduce the manual effort involved and improve reliability.
Whether the data transfer is between computers within an organization or an exchange between organizations, the less manual effort involved, the better. A manual process is tedious work and can easily introduce errors. A value of the database community is that any given piece of information need be entered only once, except for validation reasons. Enter the data the first time the best way you can, and then port that data to the target destinations. If the transport is automated, it will save time and improve reliability.