Microscope: Explore individual data points in your charts

  • Updated

This article will help you:

  • Inspect your data points in a high level of detail

Amplitude's Microscope feature enables you to dig deeper into a specific data point. Just hover over a data point in your chart, and a black pop-up will offer you up to six options (depending on your Amplitude plan) for inspecting the users who make up that particular data point.

Microscope is accessible in all Amplitude charts except Pathfinder and the custom formulas section of the Event Segmentation chart.

This article will help you understand how to use this feature and  interpret the information provided in the View User Streams and Show User Paths sections. 

Before you begin

  • Annotations can only be created by users with Admin or Manager permission levels.
  • Chart-specific annotations are only available for Event Segmentation and User Sessions charts.

  • Annotations do not support public links and are not accessible in Dashboards nor Notebooks.

  • The events highlighted in Microscope streams don't respond to the "where" filter from the chart query. Only events selected in the chart's Events Module that occur during the date range selected will be highlighted.
  • View Groups and Download Groups are only available to Enterprise customers who have purchased the Accounts add-on.

Use Microscope

To bring up the Microscope menu, simply click on a data point in any supported chart.


From here, you can:

  • Add an annotation to your chart on the specific date of the data point you've selected. These are useful for marking the dates of feature releases or marketing campaigns. Annotations will appear as purple vertical lines in your chart, and they can be removed in your project's Settings page.
  • Create a release. A release represents a change in your product. It can be a major update like the launch of a new feature, a minor patch to fix a small bug, or the launch of an experiment. See this Help Center article for more information on releases in Amplitude.
  • Create a cohort of the users that make up the selected data point, which you can then further analyze by applying this cohort to other charts in Amplitude. When a group is applied in the Segmentation Module, you can also create a group cohort from here.
  • View a list of all the users in the selected data point. Click a user ID to open that user's profile in the User Activity tab. If you are an Enterprise customer with account-level reporting, you can also use Microscope to view the groups in a data point. Click any group to see a list of users in that group, in the User Activity tab.
  • Download all the users (up to 1 million) that make up the selected data point, in the form of a .CSV file. This file will also contain each user's most-recently sent user property values.

NOTE: If you are conducting account-level reporting analysis, you can opt to download the groups included in a certain data point or bucket. The .CSV file will include the following four columns:

      • group_id: The unique ID of a particular group name (much like Amplitude ID). When Amplitude sees a new group value or group name, Amplitude assigns a unique group_id to the unique group name.
      • group_name: The group property value (like the user ID). For example, if your count-by was for the group Company, then the group_name could be Amplitude. The group_name values are set by you.
      • first_time: The Unix timestamp denoting when Amplitude first saw that group.
      • creator_amplitude_id: The amplitude_id that sent the event creating the group.

Additionally, you can show user paths and view user streams, both of which are described below.

Show user paths

This option runs a Pathfinder Users report based on user activity for the selected data point. This is useful for when you want to quickly see the top event paths users take after a specific event or on a particular day.

For example, you can view users who dropped off after a specific event or step in a Funnel Analysis chart and see what were the top paths the dropped off users performed, instead of successfully completing the funnel.

NOTE: The maximum date range for Show User Paths is 30 days.

To analyze what users are doing instead of triggering the Purchase Song or Video event in the funnel chart below, click the drop-off data point for the Purchase Song or Video event and use Microscope's Show User Paths feature to view the top event paths users take after the Add Friends event:


By showing user paths, it becomes clear that after triggering the Add Friends event, many users either exit the app or trigger the Search Song or Video event. Now we can hypothesize ways to improve the product's purchase flow—like sending users an in-app message to purchase a subscription right after they add some friends, for example.


View user streams

When using Microscope in an Event Segmentation chart, you can see individual user streams in aggregate by selecting View User Streams. You'll see all a user's events within the date range of the data point, as well as up to 25 events prior to the beginning of the time range and up to 50 events after the start of the time range. If you have a specific event selected, it will be highlighted in the user's stream. You can also choose to show certain event properties as well. Click a user ID or any event in a user's stream to view their profile in the User Activity tab.


Use Microscope to analyze events triggered between funnel steps

In a funnel chart, click into any step after the initial event to enable the Explore Conversion Drivers feature. This allows you to explore events triggered between funnel steps for converted and dropped-off users.


To learn more about Amplitude's conversion drivers feature, check out the linked Help Center article.