In the case of credit unions, the "desired goal," particularly in these difficult economic times, is to be able to make faster, better business decisions. That's something many experts say spreadsheets are increasingly unable to help with. The questions business intelligence (BI) applications can be used to help answer can be as varied as the institutions offering or using them. Some credit unions have created entirely new departments while others have used the data supplied by BI processes to measure the success of a particular product. Seeing a return on investment from using BI applications depends on a number of factors, say industry leaders. One variable would be the amount of time/labor saved in making decisions. David A. Wallace, global product marketing manager for financial services at SAS, says a credit union must dearly define its goals before determining how its investment in BI will pay off. intelligence applications.