Family Policy Timelines Case Study

The Oxford Family Policy Database considers the development of family policies in the UK since 1997, in three core areas; cash/tax allowance, leave and pay, and childcare policies. In this case study we sought to create an interactive timeline for visualising the introduction of policies in these and to filter information about each policy type through an interactve data table.

Oxford Family Policy Database covers UK family policy introduced since 1997, and provides an interactive timeline to explore this data

These visualisations were built using R and Shiny, here's a basic overview of what Shiny is.

Dr. Mireia Borrel-Porta approached the University of Oxford IT Research Support team to discuss options for building an interactive Gantt chart to accompany their Family Policy Database project, so that visitors to their project website could interactively explore the history of family associated policies in the UK. It became clear that the IDN service provided a good solution to this problem, as Dr. Borrel-Porta was happy to deposit the data behind the visualisation on Figshare such that it could be pulled directly into the visualisation hosted on

This shiny app uses the following visualisation:

  • Gantt/timeline chart - useful for comparing how data changes over time.

To replicate this interactive visualisation for yourself, refer to the IDN Shiny app template or else fork the actual code for the shiny app here. You an also contact the IDN on

Case Study Details


Dr. Mireia Borrell-Porta  (

Prof. Mary Daly (


Department of Social Policy

Divison Social Sciences
Where is visualisation used?
Data Source
Link(s) to code
Developer Martin Hadley (