How to develop WITH data from your active install

So… I’ve been doing a lot of customization on our install and recently it has gone live. It’s awesome and stuff is working properly. I have a development install on a different machine that I want to continue using and pushing updates to my Github app, and then updating the active version.

I want the data from my active install to use while developing. It would be handy to have real numbers, contacts, form examples, and all the little tweaks (that don’t get saved in a custom app) to work with.

How do people do this? Or does anybody do this?