Can I use Percona XtraBackup to backup and view data?

This has been plaguing me for a little while.
I was thinking of writing up a script to export all the data on a nightly basis so I can view it or restore it if needed. However, I believe what I had in mind would not work.

So I was wondering, can I use Percona to create a nightly backup of any new data in the database, and be able to view the data.

My client has a database which holds 42 tables and is right now at 5.2GB.
Not every table is updated daily, and I won’t need to view every single record.

In a situation, I had to retrieve the data for a customer who had deleted a bunch of records, just to create them again (essentially overwriting what was there originally). I was able to find the records that were missing, and replace the new records with the old, by creating a second database from a backup and editing the live database manually.

Could I use Percona to create a temp database from a daily backup to view the data?

In these cases what you can do is to identify the last backup before the DELETE happened and restore it in a separate instance. Grab the deleted data from the restored instance using mysqldump and restore it on the original database.

On that note, you can take a nightly full backup and hourly incrementals, restore the last full backup and the incrementals and extract the data that you need.