I often use Sequel Pro when I'm getting up to speed on the data model for a project or when I just want to debug in a more visual way than with the mysql command-line client. It's a free OS X application that lets you inspect and manage MySQL databases. I also find it very useful for making small changes to the data while I develop and test web apps.
Quickly Copy Data Between Databases
I recently needed a way to copy a few dozen records from one camp to another. I tried using the "SELECT...INTO OUTFILE" method but ran into a permissions issue with that approach. Using mysqldump was another option but that seemed like overkill in this case — I only needed to copy a few records from a single table. At this point I found a really neat and helpful feature in Sequel Pro: Copy as SQL INSERT
I simply selected the records I wanted to copy and used the "Copy as SQL INSERT" feature. The SQL insert statement I needed was now copied to the system clipboard and easily copied over to the other camp and imported via the mysql command-line client.
The Sequel Pro website describes Bundles which extend the functionality in various ways — including copying data as JSON. Very handy stuff. Many thanks to the developers of this fine software. If you're on OS X, be sure to give it a try.