In this paper, we describe an extension of the OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP) framework with causal explanation, offering the possibility to automatically generate explanations for exceptional cell values. This functionality can be built into conventional OLAP databases using a generic explanation formalism, which supports the work of managers in diagnostic processes. The central goal is the identification of specific knowledge structures and reasoning methods required to construct computerized explanations from multi-dimensional data and business models. The methodology was tested on a case study involving the comparison of financial figures of a firm’s business units. The findings suggest improved decision-making by managers because the current tedious and error-prone manual analysis process is enhanced by automated problem identification and explanation generation. It is also noted that this novel methodology has general utility for decision-support systems, for example, for automated diagnosis in the financial and accountancy domain.