The Z axis is the Depth axis that some 3D charts contain — sometimes this is also called the Series axis. Let us be clear about the fact that not all 3D charts contain a Z axis — in fact some 3D chart variants use the third dimension even if they do not need a Z axis! They do so just because some people wrongly believe that 3D is so cool. Truth be said, 3D charts come with their own share of problems. You really must not create 3D charts if a Z axis is not required for your data. As Nancy Duarte says in her HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations book: “If you don’t have a Z axis in your data, omit 3D effects — the depth can make your numbers look larger than they are.”
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