Although noise is observed in many experiments, it is rarely used as a source of information. However, valuable information can be extracted from noisy signals. The motion of particles on a surface induced, for example, by thermal activation1, 2, 3, 4 or by the interaction with the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope5, 6 may lead to fluctuations or switching of the tunnelling current3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. The analysis of these processes gives insight into dynamics on a single atomic or molecular level. Unfortunately, scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) is not a useful tool to study dynamics in detail, as it is an intrinsically slow technique. Here, we show that this problem can be solved by providing a full real-time characterization of random telegraph noise in the current signal. The hopping rate, the noise amplitude and the relative occupation of the involved states are measured as a function of the tunnelling parameters, providing spatially resolved maps. In contrast to standard STM, our technique gives access to transiently populated states revealing an electron-driven hindered rotation between the equilibrium and two metastable positions of an individually adsorbed molecule. The new approach yields a complete characterization of copper phthalocyanine molecules on Cu(111), ranging from dynamical processes on surfaces to the underlying electronic structure on the single-molecule level.