Nano-scale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) is one of the most powerful in situ elemental and isotopic analysis techniques available to biologists. The combination of stable isotope probing with NanoSIMS (nanoSIP) has opened up new avenues for biological studies over the past decade. However, due to limitations inherent with any analytical methodology, additional information from correlative techniques is usually required to address real biological questions. Here we review recent developments in correlative analysis applied to complex biological systems: first, high-resolution tracking of molecules (e.g. peptides, lipids) by correlation with electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy; second, identification of a specific microbial taxon with fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantification of its metabolic capacities; and, third, molecular specific imaging with new probes.