Deep neural networks have seen great success in recent years; however, training a deep model is often challenging as its performance heavily depends on the hyper-parameters used. In addition, finding the optimal hyper-parameter configuration, even with state-of-the-art (SOTA) hyper-parameter optimization (HPO) algorithms, can be time-consuming, requiring multiple training runs over the entire dataset for different possible sets of hyper-parameters. Our central insight is that using an informative subset of the dataset for model training runs involved in hyper-parameter optimization, allows us to find the optimal hyper-parameter configuration significantly faster. In this work, we propose AUTOMATA, a gradient-based subset selection framework for hyper-parameter tuning. We empirically evaluate the effectiveness of AUTOMATA in hyper-parameter tuning through several experiments on real-world datasets in the text, vision, and tabular domains. Our experiments show that using gradient-based data subsets for hyper-parameter tuning achieves significantly faster turnaround times and speedups of 3-30 while achieving comparable performance to the hyper-parameters found using the entire dataset.