Everyone loves their local bar, but no nation holds their local watering holes closer to their hearts than the British. Unfortunately, a dataset we snagged from the Guardian Datablog indicates that bleeding hearts do not necessarily translate into action: pubs have been disappearing for thirty years. The idea of the local pub is favorable to many Britons, but actually going to one is another matter entirely. Investigate for yourself below.

Despite a rising population, it is clear that the corner pub is in danger of extinction. Britons have gone from having a roomy 1/800th of a pub to themselves in the 1970's to less than 1/1100th of a pub today. Clearly, this level is far below that needed to maintain decorum.

Why we like this viz

Custom shapes: use an appropriate object in a viz, rather than a circle or a square. Your audience will understand the viz quicker and it looks much better.

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Interesting. Are people drinking at home, or just drinking less?

The problem with a custom shape is that the reader can't tell when the level in question dropped below the benchmark. When the shape is irregular, it's hard to figure out where the middle of the shape is, and it doesn't even seem like the shape is really centered on the data point. The label obscures parts of 1/3 of the points, which makes the reader's job even harder.

Using the same data, I'd come up with this viz, which compares the rates of closures during Labour and Tory governments:
Click here to see it!

My viz uses a technique discussed just last week in the forum (click here) on how to compare different periods of time within one dataset. The Guardian gifted us a dataset on which to test the principle!


PS - yes, people are drinking at home more. Partly because supermarkets can sell alcohol as a loss-leader, whereas pubs are screwed by really high tax on their beer.

It's not all bad, though. There's still 55,000 pubs. Where I live, Oxford, the three nearest pubs to me have all been taken over recently and vastly improved. There are three new microbreweries, too. So, things aren't ideal, but there's more quality, if less quantity.

Jon, excellent point. Thank you for bringing that up. Andy, thanks for posting your viz... and I am glad there is still a hearty supply of watering holes in Oxford.

Is there an easy way to import custom shapes into Tableau? For example, I make frequent use of the up (green) and down (red) arrows, but there are situations where an upward trend is actually bad and I'd like to be able to show a red arrow for up and a green arrow for down. Those shapes don't exist by default, but I know I could find those icons online and was curious if I could make those custom shapes available inside of my version of Tableau.

Yes there is - just drop your shapes in a folder in that directory! (I'm sure there are details in the help under "Custom Shapes")

Thanks James. Of course it had to be a simple solution... :-)