Organizations are looking for ways to gain advantage of big and open linked data (BOLD) by employing statistics, however, how these benefits can be created is often unclear. A reference architecture (RA) can capitalize experiences and facilitate the gaining of the benefits, but might encounter challenges when trying to gain the benefits of BOLD. The objective of the research to evaluate the benefits and challenges of building IT systems using a RA. We do this by investigating cases of the utilization of a RA for Linked Open Statistical Data (LOSD). Benefits of using the reference architecture include reducing project complexity, avoiding having to “reinvent the wheel”, easing the analysis of a (complex) system, preserving knowledge (e.g. proven concepts and practices), mitigating multiple risks by reusing proven building blocks, and providing users a common understanding. Challenges encountered include the need for communication and learning the ins and outs of the RA, missing features, inflexibility to add new instances as well as integrating the RA with existing implementations, and the need for support for the RA from other stakeholders.