I have been delivered a SASS OLAP solution by a supplier.
This was built in consultation although no discussion of OLAP was made.
The solution has 7 cubes with around 200 to 300 dimensions per cube.
Many of the dimensions have hundreds of values or possible values in them.
However there is significant gaps in the source data against most dimensions - this is fine and proper from the source perspective.
This means that accessing the data leads to dropped records when there is no item on a dimension - if the source field is blank then that whole record is not returned in the aggregate. This is not obvious as there is no way of showing the total number of possible records against the total left via MS Report Builder V3 without having multiple queries and going back and forth.
Also there are a significant number of large freetext fields which we are told are not effective in OLAP but in truth are needed to view or query against with strings.

So my question is relatively simple - is OLAP right for this situation? The end users tend to build record level queries and then work back from their and generally want to view record level data at some point. They are not technical in any sense (MDX is well beyond them as is SQL to some extent) and historical relied on graphic query tools such as BIQuery and Business Objects to get to the data they needed direct from source systems.

Any views or comments would be helpful as I am keen to push back and try and look for swiftly deliverable alternatives as we are taking a step back in access to data currently which will hit a number of work streams once we go live.