Character encoding tool?

This might be a weird question to ask but is anyone here aware of a program that can identify what character encoding a certain file might be made with or what it type of encoding the data within it might be (or are the two even exclusive of another?)? It would be nice if it could convert the data to a specified type, such as UTF-8 or Big Endian, etc.

The reason I’m asking this is because I recently updated a CMS and a few entries within a MySQL table are suspected of having the wrong type of encoding now due to the way the update has been made. If I could take these out of the table via MySQL dump, convert it, then re-import it, my logic would make me believe that it could possibly fix the information. Long shot, I know…

So are there any programs out there that can do something like this?